Matsya Avatar is the first Avatar of Divinity Vishnu. Matsya means a fish and Avatar means to descend.
How did life descend on earth?
Evolution is known by the word Parinama in Samskrt, which means change. In India, the concept of evolution has been discussed in the sequence of Dasavatara of Vishnu, starting from the fish and evolving all the way to the intellectual human. Thus according to the Indian Theory of Evolution from the Dasavatara concept, Aquatic creatures, The Fish, Matsya was the first to emerge.
It is interesting to note that, some aspects of Indian story of evolution is in sync with Charles Darwin’s story of evolution.
Charles Darwin in his theory of evolution also states that aquatic creatures were the first to come into existence, followed by amphibians and then land creatures as depicted in the Dasavatar Theory.
There is thus a similarity in the Indian thought of Evolution and the Modern Evolution theory.
The story of Matsya Avatar is popular in puranic lore of this land.
Matsya is the first Avatar of Lord Vishnu in the form of a fish. The Matsya Avatar rescued King Satyavrath from a Pralaya, dissolution, when the whole world faced deluge.
As per the Purana, one day while bathing, King Satyavrath came across a tiny fish in his hands. The fish requested him to protect it. The King agreed to give shelter to the fish and kept it in a water jug.
The King had not realized that the fish was none other that the Divinity Vishnu. The Divine Fish now wanted to reveal its Divinity to the the King. Immediately, the fish grew in size so that it had to be removed from the jug and placed in a larger body of water. The King then placed the fish in a well. Again the fish grew to occupy the whole well. The King now placed it in a lake, but the lake soon proved to be small. The King transferred the fish to the Sea as a last resort. The Divine Fish expanded to occupy the whole Sea.
King Satyavarath now understood that this was not an ordinary fish, but a manifestation of Divinity.
The Lord Vishnu revealed Himself to the King. He told him that there would be a deluge in the coming week and that, he would protect the King and rishi from pralaya in the form of a fish.
Vishnu’s revelation to King Satyavratha
The Lord requested the King to collect samples of herbs, seeds and other living creatures to be placed in a boat. The boat is to be attached to the fish’s horns. The Lord said, that He in the form of a fish would lead them during the deluge. Saying this, Lord Vishnu disappeared.
The King made ready a boat and carried out all the instructions of the Lord. As promised, there was a deluge in the coming week. The King got into the boat along with the rishis and other creatures. Lord Vishnu appeared in His Matsya Avatar and guided the boat during the floods.
The above Puranic story is similar to the story of Noah’s Ark in which God saves Noah. The story of Matsya Avatar predates Noah’s Ark which is dated to be around 3000 BCE.
Guru Nanak’s Birth Anniversary is observed every year on the Full Moon Day of Karthika Month, which occurs in the months of October – November. This festival sacred to Sikhs, is variously known as Guru Nanak Prakash Utsav, Guru Nanak Gurpurab and Guru Nanak Jayanthi. Sikhs from all over the world remember their founder, Guru Nanak on this day and oragnize various religious events in His honour.
Guru Nanak was born in the year 1469 CE at the village Rai Bhoi Di Talwandi, near Lahore in present day Pakistan. The place is now known as Nankana Sahib and is one of the holiest shrines for Sikhs.
The founder of the Sikh religion, Guru Nanak, belongs to the Vedi clan, i.e., descendants of Kusha, son of Rama.
More on Guru Nanak’s lineage and his visit to Ayodhya in our book, “Ayodhya – War and Peace”, a part of the Bharath Gyan Series.
As a child, Guru Nanak was spiritually inclined and showed interest in spirituality at the tender age of six.
He joined school at the age of seven. Young Nanak displayed great knowledge even at that age. He dumbfounded his teacher when he explained the inner meaning of the first alphabet of Arabic, similar to the Mathematical 1, as symbolizing the Oneness of Divinity. Sikhs considered this event as a sign of divinity of Nanak at a young age.
When Nanak reached his teens, he had to look after the cattle, a job given by his father. In the middle of watching over the cattle, Nanak would dive deep into meditation and become unaware of his surroundings. The cattle would wander to other lands and feed on other’s crops. Nanak was reprimanded by his father many times for what he thought was a laxity on the part of his son.
Nanak was married to a girl called Sulakhani, and gave birth to two sons. Nanak’s father gave him some money to be a merchant and support His family. But Nanak further annoyed his father when he spent all the money in feeding the poor. Nanak explained to his father that a noble act of helping others was the profit that he would seek through his life.
Nanak was found a new job in granary by his sister’s husband at Sultanpur where his sister lived. Nanak moved to Sultanpur leaving his wife and children in the care of his parents. He settled down well into his new job as he was soon able to support his family. His wife and sons came to live with him. Nanak moved to a house of his own in Sultanpur along with his family.
Nanak made friendship with a Muslim called Mardana. They both would meditate together everyday. In those days of great religious divide, this was an act that surprised many. Nanak had thereby sent his first message that there was only one God and people from all religions are brothers and sisters. Mardana became His disciple.
Guru Nanak Bhai Mardana
Around the age of 30, Nanak went to bathe in the Kali River along with Mardana. Nanak immersed himself in water and disappeared. Everyone thought he had drowned. After 3 days, Nanak emerged from water saying, “Nao Koe Hindu, Na Koe Musalman” – There is no Hindu, there is no Muslim.” Nanak was now enlightened. People started referring to Him as ‘Guru’ Nanak.
From then on, Nanak spent His time travelling, meditating and teaching people that there is only One God. The main principles of His teachings were Truth, Contentment, Compassion, Dharma and Fortitude. His teachings and life influenced lakhs of people.His teachings which were taken from all major religions were recorded in the Guru Granth Sahib, the Holy Book of Sikhs. Those who followed his teachings formed a separate religion called Sikhism.